Former Professional Baseball Player, Cancer Survivor & Author of "Comeback"
Dave Draveckys story is one of hope, courage and perseverance in the midst of dark and overwhelming uncertainty. In 1988 Dave was at the top of his game and life. Not only did he have a wonderful family but he was reaching his all-star peak playing the game of his childhood dreams. His 5-1 opening…
Dave Draveckys story is one of hope, courage and perseverance in the midst of dark and overwhelming uncertainty. In 1988 Dave was at the top of his game and life. Not only did he have a wonderful family but he was reaching his all-star peak playing the game of his childhood dreams. His 5-1 opening day victory over the Dodgers was overshadowed later that fall by the discovery of cancer and the removal of half of the deltoid muscle in his pitching arm. For baseball fans worldwide Dave Dravecky etched his name into history on August 10, 1989. Defying all odds, after battling cancer in his pitching arm, Dave came back to pitch once again in the Major Leagues. People were on their feet cheering and anticipating the game while he stretched and warmed up. He became an inspiration not only to cancer fighters, but to all who needed hope that day.
As Dave took the mound, no one could deny the miracle that was taking place. After being told by his doctors, Short of a miracle, youll never pitch again, Dave pitched a 4-3 win for the San Francisco Giants. Sadly, Daves comeback was short-lived. Five days later, in Montreal, Dave threw the pitch that could be heard round the world. Daves arm had split in two. As he tumbled to the ground, his mind filled with doubt and fear. Little did he know that the dream he had since he was a little boy, was simply a platform for his purpose to share hope with the suffering around the world.
Daves triumphant defeat of the cancer and his return to the game of baseball is chronicled in his award winning book, Comeback, which has sold more than 650,000 copies. After Daves comeback and fall from the mound, with the weakened bone, the cancer returned yet again. The arm was not going to get better at this point so Dave decided to retire from his dream, the game of baseball, in November of 1989.
Slowly the treatment and the cancer ate away Daves arm and simultaneously his career. Radiation treatment after radiation treatment resulted in a staph infection that placed a hole in the middle of his arm exposing bone. Finally, the arm along with Daves shoulder blade and left side of his collar bone had to be amputated for fear the cancer would spread and take Daves life. In the book, When You Cant Comeback, written with his wife, Jan, Dave describes his loss:
My arm caught the attention of the entire school, when, as a teenager, I pitched my first no hitter(Later) my ability to provide for my family was not based on how smart I was or how hard I worked. It was based solely on what my arm could do on game day. When people talked with me, it was the center of conversation. Hows the arm today, Dave? Is your arm ready for tonight? My arm was to me what hands are to a concert pianist, what feet are to a marathon runner. Its what made me valuable, what gave me worth in the eyes of the world. Then suddenly my arm was gone.
Dave continues to examine the impact of the amputation on his life in his book, The Worth of a Man. With the absence of his arm, Dave seemed to be stripped of his identity. He began to ask questions many men ponder. Where does my worth come from? What creates my value and identity? Is there more to me than the game of baseball? Is there more to me than my left arm? After a long search, Dave discovered his true worth could never be shaken by adversity or loss. He realized nothing that he did based on worldly success could place value on his life or create his identity. In his book, Dave offers men a new definition of worth.
Because of the overwhelming response to their story and their desire to walk along side others who suffer, Dave and Jan founded Dave Dravecky’s Outreach of Hope, a nonprofit organization in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Draveckys realized through their own experiences that one cannot battle cancer alone, so they have created this ministry to bring hope for those who hurt.
Dave is in great demand as a speaker with a story that reaches all age groups, his messages range from motivational to inspirational to evangelical. Dave Dravecky genuinely relates through his own experiences with loss and suffering, and he powerfully inspires through the encouragement he gathered from the faith and hope he discovered along his journey.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Loss and Suffering
Encouragement and Hope
Realizing Your Dream
Value of Relationships
Importance of Being Part of a Team
Dave Dravecky - My Story
Dave Dravecky - Oklahoma Christian University Chapel
1 HOUR OR LESS